Thursday, January 20, 2011

Baby Superpowers

For the longest time I have felt that babies have superpowers.

They are capable of the most amazing things:

They can make a mother hear their cry from miles away.

They can transform a dead-beat dude into a terrific and dedicated father.

They can melt the heart of the most hardened grandfather who meta-morphs into a babbling over-the-top, clown.

I have known all these things but today I discovered the most amazing and baffling baby power of all that I really have no explanation for.

And that is baby's ability to defy gravity- especially when it comes to their poop.

Sander kindly showed me this phenomenon today. And, truth be told, I was amazed.

Sander was sitting in his Bumbo happily playing with a toy while I was sweeping the kitchen. I leaned over to plant a kiss on his squishy forehead when I sensed the stench.

"Woop! We better go change ya buddy!"

So I carried him into the nursery and set him on the changing table. I pulled off his little pants to inspect the damage. I saw a little leakage down the left leg onto the onesie so he would have to be changed but, still not too bad. I unbuttoned the snaps on his onesie, lifted his legs and slid the onesie up his back with my hand . . . big mistake. This I realized as I pulled my now poopy hand back out from under him.


Alright, a routine diaper change has just turned into a Situation. I knew the cloth diaper I had under him was finished- it was definitely going to have to be washed so I proceeded to implement the emergency procedures.

First, clean off my hand so the poop is contained.

Second, lift the front of the onesie up as high as I can and extract the baby arms from the sleeves.

Third, unbutton the snaps at the neck and carefully lift the front of the onesie up and over his head while trying to keep the back of the onesie as far down as possible so the poop doesn't slide up all over his back.

Usually this 1-2-3 procedure works pretty well and after a lot of wipes he's pretty clean, but this was not a normal poop. I realized that it is up to his neck, all over his back and even on the back of his arms. I'm thinking:

"Dang Sander! That had to have been one heck of a poop for it to spread all the way up here!"

At this point, it is a lost battle. I fill up the tub and put Sander in it to clean him off. After he is cleaned, diapered, and dressed I go to clean up the changing table so it won't stink up the nursery too badly. My first item of business is to satisfy my morbid curiosity and look in his diaper to see what a huge explosion he must have had-- here is where the amazing part is:

There was almost NO poop in his diaper. There was a little on the side where it leaked out of the bottom and then it was all over the top where it squished out, but the bottom of the diaper was white and pristine. Somehow, Sander defied gravity and instead of letting his poop drop down into his diaper, he sent it shooting straight up the back.

Like I said, Superpowers.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Tricky Gurl

Yeah, I'm a tricky gurl (sic).

Tonight after I put the baby to bed I was teasing Casey and getting him all riled up while he was loading the dishwasher. He eventually reached the cracking point and warned me, "I am so coming to tackle you in 10 seconds when I finish doing these dishes."

I'm not stupid- at that point I fled the room and went to the bedroom so that if I was going to get tackled it would at least be on a soft surface like the bed. Then, inspiration struck!

I hadn't turned on the lights in the room yet, so I left them off and ran to the bed. I quickly threw back the covers and stuffed my pillow down towards the foot of the bed and Casey's pillow right beside it so it looked like a body under the covers. I drew the covers up and put the book that I had been holding while I was taunting him on the corner of the bed. Just for good measure.

I heard Casey coming down the hall, using the light from his open laptop to guide his way. I quickly sequestered myself behind the bathroom door just opposite from our bed.

I quieted my breathing and just listened.

. . .

. . . . .

. . . . . . . . .

I heard him come into the bedroom and call, "Tukataa?" (This is his Thai name for me meaning "little doll.")

He took a few more steps towards the bed and again called, "Tukataa? Where are you?" (Sometimes we play hide-and-seek like children and pretend we can't see the obvious lump under the blankets where our spouse is hiding so that we can look around a little bit before attacking the hidden person. It builds the suspense.)

I peeked out from behind the door and saw Casey firmly position himself at the bottom of the bed, trying to determine the best strategy for attack.

I saw him tip-toe up to the bed and prep for the grab at "me" AKA the pillows, when I rushed out of the bathroom with a "ha!" (quietly, because Sander is sleeping in the next room), and tackled him!

Yeah, we had a good time playin'. I'm a tricky gurl!

Besides, who says that just because you are married with a house and a baby you have to act like an adult all the time? ;)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

First Day of School

So, it has begun! School!

I have worked out my schedule so that I am on campus Monday, Wednesday, Friday with 4 classes between 12 pm- 4 pm.

Dramatic Literature (TMA 396) where we read plays and analyze them according to complicated literary theories such as structuralism, historicism, and post colonialism. Complicated, abstract, and it makes my brain hurt (kinda in a good way though) but I have to take it for my Theatre minor.

American Heritage (A HTG 100) a class that most people take in their freshman year. I heard so many horror stories about how hard the exams are that I have put it off my entire college career. However, it has finally caught up to me in my final semester- I can avoid it no longer! Drat!

Proclamation Principles and Scholarship (SFL 100). An entire class devoted to expounding on the principles in "The Family: A Proclamation to the World." I'm really excited for this one- even though I have to memorize The Proclamation (609 words!) I'm really interested to learn about the social science that supports many of the principles in that document.

Parenting and Child Guidance (SFL 240). This is the class that I am taking to fulfill my last Major requirement. I wanted to take an Advanced Food Preparation course but, if you read my blog about Class Schedule Madness, you'll understand why I'm taking this one. Still, I really enjoyed the first two classes and am looking forward to learning more about a subject that will be so applicable in my life.

Then, outside of class I have a REL C 325 class, which is Doctrine and Covenants, part 2. I'm taking this online which is nice because is one less hour that I have to be on campus and Sander has to be baby-sat. I'm just going to have to be super diligent about keeping up with it.

All totaled, my classes equal 14.0 credits- a full-time schedule. To be honest, this past week was brutal. Balancing being a full-time student with being a full-time mom was enough to give me a headache and fill every spare moment that I had with homework. Hopefully, it will get better as I get in the routine and start trying to knock my assignments out.

Down time to blog, exercise or zone = sanity.

Casey has reminded me that this semester is going to be a marathon, not a sprint like spring and summer semesters, and I need to take things one day at a time. He's even helping out more at home with grocery shopping, folding laundry, and taking care of the baby so I can do homework. And he does all this without me having to ask him even once. :) Best Husband Ever. Especially because that is the only way I will survive this semester.

3 months, 1 week, and 6 days until I graduate. Boo-yah baby.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2010 Reflections

WARNING: This post contains religious overtones. I respect that some people may not feel about religion as I do, but it's my blog so I'm going to talk about how I feel on the subject. I would just ask any commenters to follow your mother's advice: "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." :)

As I went through my meetings in church today, several people made comments about their reflections of the year 2010. That made me realize that I haven't really reflected on my year at all.

Thinking back over the year 2010, it was definitely the most difficult year of my life. Most people have maybe one or two life altering events a year. I can think of at least four that happened to me in 2010.

I moved to Utah, got in a pretty bad car accident that totaled our car, my husband left the church, and I had a baby. I also started school again, taking an 18 credit hour semester which was a humdinger! (I wanted to get in as many credits as possible before baby came, and with the looming prospect of being a full time mom and student this coming Winter semester, I am SO GLAD I did!) However, for the purposes of this post, I am going to focus mainly on the first four events that I shared with you.

As often happens in life, sometimes some of the sweetest blessings come when we are enduring bitter circumstances.

Moving to Utah!
Upon moving to Utah I have had the opportunity to meet some of the most wonderful people and friends that I have ever had in my life. In the short 8 months that we have lived here I have discovered more of a community in my little neighborhood than I have ever encountered in any of the five places I have lived since I moved away from my home Ward, where I had known most of the people since my childhood, to go to college. What first seemed like a sheltered, closed, cold community opened up into an outpouring of love and support from so many wonderful people in my neighborhood. All it took was a little bit of an effort on my part to get involved and to get to know people.

I am so grateful for the people that I have met that have unhesitatingly opened their arms and unstintingly poured out their love to me. I don't think they will ever know how much I needed that this year and how much it has saved me.

Car Accident!
Earlier this year we got in a car accident that totaled our poor Subaru and most of the possessions that we had packed in an effort to clean out our Texas apartment for the big move. A car going 30-40 mph broadsided our car on my passenger side, perfectly plowing into our car in the exact middle of our tires. I was 14 weeks pregnant at the time. Miraculously, I walked away with only three staples to close the gash in my head caused by the glass from my window, a bruise on my right calf and a sore body for a couple of days. The baby was totally fine and probably had a good time sloshing around in the amniotic fluid ("fun mom! can we do that again?!"). Later that day, when we went to salvage what we could from our car, the guy who towed our car was amazed to see that I had escaped with so little injury.

I attribute my protection to guardian angels and thank the Lord that my husband had us say a prayer of safety before we left the IHOP where we had eaten breakfast, just 3 minutes before our accident.

Not long after the accident, a huge surprise came my way. My husband left the church. Many of you may be thinking, "So what? What's the big deal?" But you have to understand, that I have tried to live my entire life in such a manner that I could marry a man in the temple and raise my children in the gospel. I have worked my entire life to be able to have a home that radiates joy, love and service as we worship Christ and try to emulate his example. Having a husband who also wants to have a happy home, but no longer agrees with the projected path to get there, was a huge adjustment to my life perspective. I share the selfish reasons why my husband's change of attitude was hard for me, but there are also monumental spiritual and eternal consequences for his welfare that were just as difficult for me to come to terms with (but, he doesn't want to read about that. (; ). There were several stages of transition as I tried to deal with this new reality, all of which were just as hard as the previous ones.

His disbelief made me really question my belief in the Church and I had to seriously and honestly reevaluate my testimony. While this has been one of the hardest things that I have ever had to go through, I can look back and truly see that "all things wherewith you have been afflicted shall work together for your good, and to my name’s glory, saith the Lord." D&C 98:3.

My husbands decision made me realize that I needed to make a hard decision about whether I believed in the church or not. I could no longer sit on the fence with certain issues. I either believed or I didn't. And, after a lot of prayer and study, I knew that I did believe. I knew that I could not walk away from the knowledge and experiences I have been given. "I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it; at least I knew that by so doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation" Joseph Smith-- History 1: 25.

It would have been a lot easier to not push the issue with my husband and just go along with his decision for the sake of saving contention in our marriage, for the sake of staying on the same page, for the sake of not losing my best friend. I have never been so in tune with anyone more than I am in tune with my husband. We know and understand each other so well and we are honestly each other's best friend. Holding to my faith was going to put a big gap in between us that could only be crossed by me giving up my faith or him, by returning to the church. I knew that, and that made my decision even harder because I knew that my husband would not be interested in returning to the church for a long time, if ever. But I could not turn my back on my faith.

So, I redoubled my efforts and started striving to live even the smallest of commandments. I know that if I get lackadaisical in the practice of my faith, it will be almost impossible to resist taking the easy path and letting all of this go by the wayside. But I believe in my religion and I have come to see and feel that, the more I strive to keep even the smallest of commandments, the more blessings I receive and the more joy I feel. So, even in this seeming catastrophic trial, I have felt great blessings in my life.

The fourth life changing event was having a baby. I don't think this needs much explanation since many of my blogs are dedicated to the trials and joys of motherhood, but I will say this: I love my baby boy. I love being a mom. Even when days are hard, I can't wait to see what sports he will like, if he is good in school, if he likes blocks or legos better, what college he decides to attend etc. etc. etc. And I plan to have more kids to add to the chaos and the joy.

2010 was definitely one of the hardest of my life and, to be honest, I really don't know what 2011 has in store for me. But I am determined to go forward in faith, doing my best to find the blessings amidst the trials and rejoicing in my God who loves me and has blessed me so abundantly.

God is good. God is great.